I spent about two hours last night assembling the W1GHZ 1296RSU and 1152LO boards from his paper “Multiband Microwave Transverters for the Rover—Simple and Cheap.” Once again, I trekked over to W3APL beacon site at lunch and put the pair through their paces on RX with the IC-290H as the IF radio. It worked! Here’s a clip:
One of the interesting things about the 1296-MHz beacon is that it’s FSK, not CW. You’ll notice this after about 15 seconds when it starts sending its callsign. The higher pitch tone is “keyed” and the lower is “unkeyed.” Brian, ND3F, was at the beacon site with us last week to check out a problem (turned out to be a dead power supply fan). He told us that it’s common for microwave beacons to operate in FSK mode so you always have a carrier to tune across (and swing your antenna across). Who knew?!
Anyhow, it’s time to start building the other trappings, including enclosures, sequencers, filters, PAs, and T/R switches! Apart from the PA parts and some connectors, the other components are on-hand and ready.